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banned, bigot, black, church, congregation, Crystal Springs, God, hate, Jesus, marriage, member, Mississippi, prejudice, race, Stan, Weatherford, wedding, white

Ghosts of Mississippi are Back

Wow.  Bigots aren’t even trying any more.  They’re coming out in full force now.
A black couple in Mississippi was told the day before their wedding that they would have to find a new venue because the church that they had booked had never performed a black wedding and the bigots in the church didn’t want that to change.   The pastor ended up marrying them at a black church down the road. 
The pastor, Stan Weatherford, was told by some members of the congregation that if he performed the wedding they would oust him from his pastorship.  Remember, this was done the day before the wedding.  Not when they tried to book.  Not a week before.  Not a month before.  The day before!  These people had friends and family coming.  They had paid for invitations and programs.  You’ve got to be kidding me? 
My father’s a pastor.  I hope he reads this blog because I would love to hear how he would handle this kind of ultimatum.  I imagine it would go something like this:
“You’re saying I can’t marry a black couple in the church or I’ll lose my job?  Well they’re going to be married.  If you remove me as pastor, I will stand side-by-side with the members of the community that will be protesting this church.  I will also have no problem letting the media, and the non-prejudice church members, that each of you sat here and reaffirmed to me that the prejudice and bigotry that was so famous in the south is alive and well at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.”  
I may have some of the wording wrong, but I imagine he would give them an earful.  But, no.  This so-called pastor chose to bow to the bigotry and hate.  If a pastor is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the church members, what the hell does this guy think he’s doing?  How about you let these people know that their moral compass is way out of whack and point them in the right direction, Stan?  A pastor doesn’t give in to pressure about things like bigotry.  If you lose your job, you lose your job.  Enjoy the conversation with God when He asks why you wouldn’t allow two of His children to join their lives in Holy Matrimony in His house.   Yes, remember that it’s His house.  Not yours.  Not your congregation’s.  You are all just people He has invited into His home to share in a celebration.
These church members (the ones who objected) and this guy who calls himself a pastor disgust me.  I don’t even have the words without launching into an angry tirade.  Suffice it to say that I hope every non-prejudice member of this church leaves and the community raises hell.  I also hope that this couple files a lawsuit to recover damages for the costs of every invitation, program, decoration, and inconvenience.  I hope the financial hardship caused by the judgment causes the church to fail and forces these members to sit at home wallowing in their own misery and hate.  


One thought on “Ghosts of Mississippi are Back

  1. It's not just in the south. Racism is rising in even the most enlightened communities. I live in uber-liberal Santa Cruz, CA, but neighbors still objected to having a day worker center in their neighborhood to replace day laborers standing on street corners. Among other things they suggested that day laborers are a danger to local school children. As a local pastor here is a transcript of my remarks to the county Board of Supervisors."As a young boy my family moved from deep in the coal-mining mountains of eastern Kentucky to the big city of Jacksonville, Florida. As my father and my uncles looked for work they had to battle cultural stereotypes which painted them as slow, lazy, hard-drinking, inbred stupid hillbillies, even though they were in fact good, decent, hard-working men. Why? Because of social class bigotry. "Are we really saying that because these men and women are poor, or perhaps undocumented, that they are a greater threat to the children in a nearby school? Really? A greater threat than anyone going to the nearby convenience stores, or the animal shelter, or the VFW? Really? Is there any objective data that says that poor people are more prone to criminality? Or is it simply that we always fear those who are not like us? "In Santa Cruz, in the last few years, I have heard more and more conversations that I had not heard since the sixties in the deep south. Conversations I’d never dreamed I’d have to listen to again. Conversations about 'those people.' In this room today, before this meeting started, I overhead some of the opponents of the day worker center praising the infamous Arizona sheriff, the twenty-first century equivalent of Bull Conner, who is using draconian measures on immigrants. "Please don’t let the unfounded fears and prejudices which drove the Jim Crow laws in the deep south be revived in Santa Cruz County. Support hard-working men and women who are trying to make a life. Support the Day Worker’s Center."

    Posted by Unknown | July 29, 2012, 5:28 am

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